The North Magnetic Pole The Earth is on the move, unpredictably moving away from the Canadian Arctic and towards Siberia. It has wavered so much that the current global representation of the world's magnetic field, just updated in 2015, is now outdated. And so geologists have devised a new model.
This updated model, called the World Magnetic Model, should have been released on January 15, but is now postponed until January 30 due to government shutdown.
Once released, the new model will announce a wide range of navigation, including those that direct planes and ships to people who check Google Maps on their smart devices. [Earth from Above: 101 Stunning Images from Orbit]
The World Magnetic Model is one of a few models – the second is called the International Geomagnetic Reference Field – that accompanies the so-called declination, or the difference between true or geographical, northern (that is, the North Pole) and the Magnetic North (where the compass needle is located). Knowing that point declination across the globe enables conversion between a magnetic bed and a real bed, according to the 2015 model report. In this way, ships, planes, aerials, drilling equipment and other devices can be oriented.
The latest world magnetic model was designed to last until 2020, but the rapid and unexpected wave of magnetic north toward Siberia was so great that researchers had to change the model early, Arnaud Chulliat, geomagnetist from Colorado Boulder University and National Oceanic and National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA) from the Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Nature.
The news about the magnetic north curves is not quite new. The researchers realized that in the 1800s magnetic north had been trying to snuff. Then, in the mid-nineties, it started to move faster, from just over 15 kilometers per year, to about 55 kilometers per year, Nature reported. In 2018, the Magnetic North skips the International Line of Date and entered the eastern halfway.
The basic message
The incorrect movements of the north pole are mainly the result of the outer core of the liquid iron earth, known as the central field. (And other factors play a role, including magnetic bark and upper clay minerals, as well as electrical currents created by the flow of seawater, but these impacts are small compared to those in the central field, according to the 2015 World Magnetic Model report.)
Nobody has ever seen a central field, but you can imagine it in the following way: imagine a magnetic stick in the center of the Earth that has two halves: North and South. This magnet represents about 75 percent of the Earth's magnetic field magnitude today, said Ronald Merrill, a professor emeritus of Earth and Space Science at Washington University, who was not involved in a new research of the world's magnetic model. (In reality, electric current, not a large magnetic magnet in Earth's core, create a magnetic field, but it's easier to think about it in terms of magnets, says Merrill.)
However, the intensity of this so-called magnetic field decreases with time, by about 7 percent every 100 years, Merrill Live Science said. That "bar magnet" is also moving now, so it is leaning toward Canada to a little less than 10 degrees, he noticed.
The other 25 percent of the magnetic field comes from another field, which can be imagined as moving magnets, says Merrill. In other words, as the gigantic central magnetic rod loses its intensity, this other magnetic field gains more influence on the Earth's magnetic field. "And that is what causes this field to move in the direction [of Siberia]"Said Merrill. [Doomsday: 9 Real Ways Earth Could End]
In fact, the weakening of this huge magnetic bar was disturbed by some scientists wondering if this is a sign that the North and South poles of the Earth could turn, as they did 780,000 years ago. Such a flip would not happen for thousands of years, and it remains to be seen what will happen. However, the 2018 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found evidence that the magnetic field of the Earth had weakened before it was flashed.
However, this weakening could lead to field fluctuations, which could affect technologies such as low-Earth satellites orbit, reported Live Science.
The roaring magnetic north also has other implications. As it moves, it is probably the best place to see the North Light change over time. "For a hundred years it might be a better place to see the Northern Light than today," Merrill said.
For now, scientists are trying to figure out why the magnetic north flies toward Siberia. One of the ideas is that her fast flight is connected to the rapid stream of liquid iron beneath Canada, Nature reported.
It appears that the aircraft weakens the magnetic field beneath Canada by smearing it, meaning that Canada has no chance against Siberia, said Natureu Phil Livermore, geomagnetist from Leeds University, England.
"It seems that the position of the north magnetic pole is regulated by two large magnetic fields, one below Canada and one under Siberia," Livermore Nature said. "The Siberian patch wins the competition."
Originally posted on the day Live Science.